Aquinas bottles up Northwest, wins 5A title
St. Thomas Aquinas prevailed in a battle of unbeatens on Saturday afternoon at Pittsburg State’s Carnie Smith Stadium, beating Wichita Northwest 49-28 for the Kansas Class 5A high school championship.
Saints sophomore running back Tank Young rushed for 329 yards and four touchdowns.
The win was a milestone for Aquinas coach Randy Dreiling. After guiding Hutchinson to seven state championships in eight years, he left to pursue a new challenge at Aquinas. The culmination of his work — Aquinas lost in the 5A title game to Bishop Carroll in 2014 and 2017 — was rewarded on Saturday.
Aquinas (12-0) scored three first-quarter touchdowns to establish a 21-0 lead. The Saints capitalized off a Northwest turnover, then Young broke a 47-yard touchdown run and Tate Raboin found Theo Grabill on a play-action pass for a 33-yard score.
“We talk a lot about momentum and we call it riding the wave and knowing when to get off the wave,” Northwest coach Steve Martin said. “We didn’t do a good job of getting off the wave, but give credit to Aquinas.”